Making of the Manifesto

If you’ve been around Fervor recently, you’ve no doubt heard our Manifesto. It’s one of the shorter pieces we’ve ever created, but it’s the most significant. Creating the Manifesto was an 18-month journey of codifying what it feels like to be in the Fervor family. Today, the Manifesto is what anchors us.

Here’s what it took for us to make it.

The elements of the Manifesto took root in my heart years ago. In fact, many of the ideals in our Manifesto are why I started Fervor in the first place. As Fervor grew over time, it became clear that these ideals could no longer live in me alone. It was important to me, and important to our team, to codify the way we do business, the way we treat people and the way we treat each other. We needed to articulate the way we know we want to operate as a company.

In a climate like ours, documenting our foundational values is all the more critical. No matter what marketing tactics we execute, no matter which creatives are part of this community, whether we’re working from 1705 Summit or somewhere completely different . . . all of these things can change. But the way that we work, the way that we serve? That will and should always remain true.

Making the manifesto started with a commitment. As a business owner, too many times I have told someone to do something that I wasn’t willing to do myself. We can give advice because we have knowledge, but if we don’t live it out, what good is our knowledge? Or worse, what good is our word? As Fervor grows, we cannot and should not live differently than we ask others to live. The Manifesto was born out of that commitment. Boom. Flag planted.

With plenty of blood, sweat and tears (and plenty of prayer and reflection too), I got to work on the first iteration. Perhaps what made creating the Manifesto so challenging was knowing how important this was. Getting this right would change the way we recruit, the way we hold each other accountable and the way my team would hold me accountable. Scary challenge to write it down. Scarier still to make it public. We knew that if we brought this to life, we’d have to live by it. So it was a test of my grit and I completed the first draft. The pressure is to stop or get distracted and let it go; let me just encourage you to persevere. It’s so freaking worth it.

A few months later, my team conducted our signature Brand Impact Assessment™ + Strategy on the Fervor brand. And what’s more, I made a commitment to play the “client” role. The second real iteration of the Manifesto would be one of the outputs of the Fervor Brand Assessment. The team still tells me that of all the aspects of the Assessment, this one was the hardest — but the most rewarding.

For eight more months after the assessment, my team and I had too many meetings to count. There were even a few really tough conversations. Hey, documenting what you stand for ain’t for the faint of heart. Wisdom of others was central to the process too. It was inside counsel from people on my team, people who have the talent and drive to put into words what I felt in my heart. It was outside counsel too, including plenty of prayer with my wife Kim. Ultimately, we narrowed down and landed on these 10 core items.

So what does the Manifesto look like in action? First, it’s our lens for recruiting. We point to it in every interview process. This has made it easier for candidates to decide if they’re in or out too. Every person we hire at Fervor, from one-time contractors to full-time team members, puts pen to paper and signs this Manifesto.

The Manifesto also comes into play with our potential clients. Our Manifesto is a means of transparency. Wonder what it’s going to look like to work with Fervor? This is what you can expect. The people of this organization take our Manifesto promise seriously.

Every business needs to understand what they stand for. We believe this so strongly that it’s part of our assessment process. We challenge our clients to talk about who they are and their purpose for being here. Others may call it core values, pillars, foundations. What you call it doesn’t matter. But understanding your purpose? Now that’s paramount.

Too many companies, marketing or otherwise, bend with the wind. They change their identity just to land a client, just to hop on the latest and greatest bandwagon. The Manifesto is meant to be the opposite of this. In turbulent times and in times of great growth, the Fervor Manifesto is our anchor.